UTSA Student Center for Community Engagement hosts Ujima celebration

Ujima graduation event

Ujima graduation celebration event

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(May 12, 2014) -- The UTSA Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion presented the annual Ujima graduation ceremony in the H-E-B University Center Ballroom on April 29. Ujima honors the graduation of black/African-American students. Ujima (pronounced oo-JEE-mah) is named after the third principle of Kwanzaa and stands for unity, knowledge and responsibility.

This year, Ujima gathered the largest group of graduates since the inception of the program. More than 100 graduating students attended. This year's graduates were presented with stoles and certificates to commemorate their accomplishments.

The ceremony opened with a welcome by Destiny Jones, Black Student Union president, and a rendition of the "Black National Anthem" by student Grace Williamson. The keynote speaker for the evening was Sonja Lanehart, Brackenridge Endowed Chair in Literature and the Humanities in the UTSA Department of English.

Two students received leadership awards in honor of their commitment to leadership and responsibility. This year's recipients were students Jantel Fontenot and Jamille Henderson. Pesha Mabrie, UTSA housing and residence life complex coordinator, received an award in recognition of her leadership and mentorship for UTSA students.

In attendance were Sam Gonzales, vice president for student affairs; Lawrence Williams, vice provost for University College; and members of the UTSA Black Faculty and Staff Association.

For more information about this annual event, visit the UTSA Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion website.